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The War Room

News/Business. Michael Shure and guests offer their perspectives on the political news of the day. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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PG

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 9, Michael 7, Washington 7, Halvorson 3, Florida 3, Chris Christie 3, Kelley 3, Dianne Feinstein 3, Joe Williams 3, John Boehner 2, Julian 2, Boehner 2, Michael Bloomberg 2, Robin Kelly 2, Vo 2, Nra 2, Gillette 2, United States 2, Obama 2, Huffington 2,
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  Current    The War Room    News/Business. Michael Shure and guests offer their  
   perspectives on the political news of the day. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    February 27, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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the smelly fish. (christof) in the spring of 2011, the indonesian government had yet to declare nicotine an addictive drug and it remained legal to sell cigarettes to children of any (christof)for one of those children, perhaps the most famous one, life has pretty much returned to normal, except when american journalists come to visit. (christof)today, "the smoking baby" remains smoke-free and so do his parents. (christof)but what will happen as aldi rizal and the other children in his village grow up? if current trends continue, we can expect that most of them will one day become smokers. and no one would think twice
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about seeing a video of a smoking teenager in indonesia. bloc >> michael: this is "the war
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room." i'm michael shure. coming up tonight, what is more important, the right to vote or the right to own a gun? i think the answer is obvious, then again so does wayne lapierre. [♪ theme music ♪] >> michael: guns and voting were the dominate themes in washington today and we'll get to both in a minute but first let's quickly update you on where we stand with the sequester. the white house did make a move today. they invited congressional leadership to meet with the president on friday to try to find a way around the $85 billion in mandatory cuts. you might be saying friday isn't that locking the barn after the horse is out? turns out president obama can order the cuts any time on march 1st. so washington's deadline for a deal is now 11:59 pm friday
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night, and should a deal get done, i'm sure they will use up every last minute. chuck hagel wasn't exactly radiant his first day on the job. >> budget, sequestration, i don't need to dwell on all of the good news there. that's a reality. we need to figure this out. >> we certainly do. jack lew was confirmed as treasury secretary today. now to the news on guns and capitol hill where emotions are running high and rightfully so. they held a hearing to examine banning assault weapons. this is senator dianne feinstein's big push. >> i'm a bit frustrated that we
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say one thing, how important it is, but in the real world we absolutely do nothing to enforce the laws on the books. now let's -- >> senator -- >> how many cases -- >> you know what it doesn't matter -- i want to stop -- i want to finish the answer -- >> no. >> i want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally, if you think we're going to do paperwork prosecutions, you are wrong. >> michael: i love that. i love seeing someone go after lindsey graham. the anger and distrust were quickly followed by something sad. here is neil heslin who lost his six-year-old son in the newtown shooting. >> people argue about the second amendment. the second amendment says well
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regulated militia. bare arms. [ inaudible ] hasn't been well regulated. and it -- it is not being well regulated. >> michael: he is right. it's been 75 days since jesse and his classmates were murdered. in that time at least 2,329 americans have died in gun violence. vice president biden echoed that sent meant today. here is his take. >> the excuse that it's too politically risky to act is no longer acceptable. we cannot remain silent. we have to become the voices of those 20 beautiful children. >> michael: now that's washington, but outside of the
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beltway a different geography means a different debate. take, for example, cherokee county, north carolina, the editor of the county's local paper resigned yesterday after receiving death threats. his great offense was submitting a public records request to the county sheriff to find out which residents have carry permits. the sheriff posted the letter on facebook, and said his office will quote continue to support the constitution and all amendments including the second amendment. the editor issued an apology, writing i realize many people are upset with horne, and we can understand that. we never meant to offend the wonderful people of this fine community. i love how the sheriff is respecting the constitution. guess what sheriff, it's called the second amendment because
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there is a first amendment. freedom of the press means freedom under federal law that the names of concealed carry gun owners be made available to the public. a diligent newspaper man was run out of town by death threats on a day when lawyers stand before the supreme court to argue that the south has changed. maybe it has, but apparently not enough. that's my opinion. but it is the opinion of the u.s. supreme court. the court heard arguments on the 1965 voting rightest act that mandates that states with racial discrimination history get [ inaudible ]. justice scalia said quote . . . >> he added that congress only renewed it because it was politically expedient, saying even the name of it so
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wonderful, the voting's right act. who is going to vote against that. for the latest i'm joined by "huffington post" reporter ryan reilly. he joins us from washington, d.c. where he was in the court chambers today. it is always secretive in the supreme court. what was the scene inside the courtroom like today? >> it was pretty -- there was very -- sort of -- very pop -- you know, obviously the voting right's act is a very popular piece of legislation with a lot of civil right's groups, and it has had an enormous people with a lot of people, and prevented discrimination for nearly 50 years now. within the courtroom you had a lot of groups that support this legislation. i think it has been very effective in eliminating discrimination in the south over a number of years, but you also had on the bench certainly, there seemed to be a very lackluster sort of attitude
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towards whether or not this was going to be upheld because there -- because they believe there are some constitutional issues with it. two justices supported it on the liberal side. but then you had also had probably what will likely amount to five members of the bench saying that it's sort of imposes an unconstitutional burden on the states it applies to that have to go through this preclearance system and either talk to the justice system or go through a panel of three judges in dc. so certainly when that scalia quote came up there were audible gasps in the room with him calling at it racial entitlement, given when it was first put in place there were some places poll [ inaudible ]
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that were still about. and even in 2012 when you had a lot of voter id laws which a number of courts including in texas as well as south carolina said for this year at least they would have had a racially discrimination tore impact. and in texas there was a redistricting case where the court found it was intentionally discriminatory because of the makeup of the new maps that would have basically made things easier for republicans to be elected in certain districts because they wanted to sort of keep certain areas heavily latino and heavily african american, and typically democratic areas out of their districts. >> and ryan you said there was an audible gasp when scalia said that. that surprises me because you would think you would get that out of justice scalia.
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but anthony kennedy is considered of course the swing vote. today he faulted congress for using a decade's old formula. what is he getting at when he says something like that? >> kennedy was sort of the hope for voting rights advocates that he is really the only person who could potentially be a swing on this, and he indicated which way he was leaning before. so at least the voting right's act is either -- section five at least will be completely cut out or curtailed in some capacity. but he said they were essentially rigging the system so that the states that they wanted to pay attention too would fit into the formula that they were using to decide which states actually have to go through this oversight process, the states that -- it's a lot of southern states and some various
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counties across the country that are subject to this. >> he is clearly the justice -- ryan he is clearly the justice we're going to be wanting to watch as this case comes up. very quickly when is the decision due? >> probably n late june. >> okay. ryan reilly of the "huffington post" thanks so much for doing that for us. how is this for a kwibt sen shall washington moment the president was at the capitol building unveiling a stature honoring rosa parks. well i would be happy to give them a history refer herb but i think julian bond is probably better suited to the task. the former chairman of the naacp joins me here after the break.
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>> michael: today marks an historic day in our nation's history, as rosa park's statute made it's a debut in the capitol building. the plt and members of congress unveiled the statute. she is the first african american to be honored with a full length rendering. it is certainly a proud moment for america, but today is also historic in another way. the supreme court heard arguments on whether to strike down one of the most important civil rights laws in our country's history, the voting rights act which was signed into law in 1965. >> there is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to ensure that right. yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting. >> michael: his words still ring
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true today. in fact former president bill clinton today this afternoon that some efforts to disenfranchise voters are even more determined today than 40 years ago. and let's look at a few of the darkest example from the sunshine state. florida cut early voting the sunday before the election this year, and one consultant explained why. quote . . . yes, he really did say that. not only were there fewer days to vote, but there were fewer polling stations in minority a neighbors. blacks and hispanics in florida waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites did. the orlando sental reported that
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nearly 200,000 voters gave up in frustration without voting. and then the voter id laws. the only thing that stopped states like alabama and georgia from follow the lead was, yeah you guessed it the voting right's act. republican governors of many states filed a brief arguing the act is unconstitutional because it kept them from implementing voter id laws. that's what it is supposed to do. and that in a nutshell is why we still need it today. as part of our the march goes on series i'm very pleased to welcome, julian bond he joins us today from pensacola, florida of all places. thanks so much for coming back inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me,
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michael. >> michael: you were there in 2006. has anything changed since then that would make it no longer necessary? the >> things have changed marginally but nothing has changed that would make it no longer necessary in fact it needs to be necessary all over the united states. but what is at issue today is the supreme court will vm an activist court and over do what congress has already done. justice scalia is just terrible in this regard and justice roberts you know has race on his mind all the time. he is anti-racial -- racial this and that he would jump up and down if he could -- could convince at least four of his fellows to go with him and get rid of the voting right's act all together. so i don't think we should be surprised of what he said. but what we counted on one
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kennedy. but this was a disappointing day for him today. >> michael: it dawns on me that you have been fighting white guys in white robes, and now you are fighting white guys in black robes. can you believe you're standing before the court having this conversation now? >> no i had a case before the supreme court and that helped put me back in the georgia legislature. but the supreme court upheld my right to say what i want to say, and now they are going to keep me from casting the vote if i live-in one of the affected states. >> michael: what would it mean if this law is struck down in the supreme court? >> it means if any state passes a law or makes an election change that badly affects racial minorities, it will take a
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tremendous effort to set that right. the agrieved party would have to file a lawsuit, pay expensive lawyers, spend an awful lot of time in going to court up through the various levels of the court until they got to the supreme court, which created the problem in the first place until they got some relief. and racial minorities could have been excluded all together from the political process. and ask yourself who in the country is against minorities voting? it seems to be the republican party. the republican party who's attorney general you just said initiated these voter id laws across the country, and the party that would help elect mitt romney.
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it's a sad commentary that one of our political parties would be devoted almost entirely to keeping black people from registering to vote. it is strangely new for them in the modern period. in past years they were the people who were pushing for voting rights, but now they switched sides with the old democrats, and the democrats and republicans have swifted sides, and each party has become a measure of the other party, and it's just a sad, sad turn of represents. >> michael: as recently as 1982 i think it was, paul wireic was talking about how their goal was to keep people from voting. so sentiment still runs through that type of person. >> absolutely. >> michael: how effective will
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looking into the long lines be marchly in it light of the voting right's act? >> i don't think it would make any difference. president obama has put on that commission the lawyer for the republican party, who are the masterminds of all of the hinder ranses of the last election. how can you expect the thieves to guard the hen house? i don't think you can. >> michael: i wanted to ask you what your reaction today was to seeing the first black president unveiling the stature of rosa parks. >> this was the stamp just issued on what would have been her 100th birthday. it's a great thing that this happened, and you would like to think that ms. park is somewhere
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shaking her finger at the supreme court justices who never learned this lesson and are now trying to impose it on the rest of us. >> michael: this year we're selling the 50th anniversary of many of the biggest events in the civil rights movement. do you think that young people today understand those represents and how hard civil rights activist like yourself fought to guarantee everyone the right that is being challenged in the supreme court today? >> no, they don't understand it as well as they should. luckily there is a large library about books, and brand new books on rosa parks written by one of my students. well worth buying. but there are many many books about the civil right's
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movement. there is no excuse to anyone not knowing this history, but there was a study a few months ago the various states have a pretty poor record in teaching civil right's history. oddly enough mississippi i think is the only state in the country to mandate civil rights history being taught in the public schools. >> michael: if that's right, it means that mississippi has come a long way in that one little regard. julian bond thank you so much for joining us in "the war room," really appreciate your incites. >> thank you. >> michael: coming up on "the war room," the gun debate the sequester mess and the real reason chris christie got dumped by cpack. we have an embarrassment of political riches and it's all ahead right here in "the war room."
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>> michael: today congress considered senator dianne feinstein's new assault weapon's ban. it would outlaw the sale of 157 different military style assault weapons and ban high-capacity magazines. >> the one common thread running through these mass shootings in recent years from aurora colorado, to tucson arizona, to blacksburg virginia is that the gunman used military style, semi automatic assault weapon or a large capacity ammunition magazine to commit unspeakable terror. >> michael: a recent report from mother jones found that out of the 62 mass shootings over the last three decades, more than half of the killers used weapons that would be banned by feinstein's bill. our next work is a virginia tech shooting survivor who was at the
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hearing today, and comes us to from washington, d.c. colin as always welcome inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me. >> michael: so you were there today. what did you make of the proceedings? >> i think the hearing went on to close to four hours. it was a tough four hours where we heard some very disrespectful comments and some on-point testimony. we heard talking points coming from the republicans on the committee, that this is now too soon to talk about this legislation, which they say after every tragedy. and hearing that live in person was really difficult to hear but at the same time we also heard some very compelling testimony from the father of a young boy who was killed in newtown from an emergency room doctor who treated some of the patients, who showed images of
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what these bullets do. we heard from the mayor from philadelphia who talks about the daily occurrence of violence in his streets. but most of the people in the committee were really motivated. >> michael: you know, colin after what you went through in virginia tech and the more rors that have ensued since, it has to give you some degree of satisfaction you are actually sitting in a hearing listening about talk of banning the weapons at all. do you feel that as you sit there? >> you know, we have been trying very hard in the past three years since i have been involved in this movement to even get a hearing in the senate, and prior to december 2012 there was not
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a chance we were ever going to do that. and now this is the third hearing in the senate that i have been to since middle of december. and it's clear that the administration is serious, and the members of the senate are serious about changing gun policy. so many other republicans and democrats are coming out and speaking to some of the specific substantive changes we can make. finally we're here and doing this. and if the american people maintain their engagement to us we will see this through to the end. >> michael: yeah, and that has to be really satisfied to you. one of the touching pieces came from the father of a newtown victim. how important is it that victims and their families people like you, colin how important is it that they speak up? >> i think it's absolutely critical that we speak up and tell and show people what it was like to a real human being and family to go through something
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like this. so much of what we have heard has been fabricated hypothetical situations of mobs coming at you, and what you would do in situation x, y or z, and then to hear a father say a my son was sitting in his classroom, and a man burst into his classroom, and blew a bullet through his head. and to the extent we americans can tell our elected officials exactly what happened to us and our family member then i think we'll make a lot of progress and get through to a lot of people and see the change that we so badly need. >> michael: when you hear it in that detail, you just can't listen to it without saying my god i we have to do something. and nra were live tweeting during the hearing, and they added this little detail . . .
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dianne feinstein is somehow the enemy here is amazing. when the guns are doing the killing, and feinstein is trying to stop them. but what does it say to you that the nra is using this as an opportunity to encourage people to buy more guns. >> clearly the bottom line for the nra is gun sales. they represent gun manufacturers. and the more they make statements like this at horribly tone deaf moments, i think they fall slowly even further and further out of touch with main stream america. >> michael: a new poll out today found that americans worry more about being the victim of gun violence than losing their job or paying their mortgage. and 65% support an assault
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weapons ban. you are in this fight every day. do you feel the tide is turning right now? >> absolutely i feel the tide is turning. we're still having our phones ring off of the hooks in our office. new people trying to engage with us that are asking what they can do. new offices in capitol hill are reaching out and finding some ground to compromise on. americans are seeing that these mass shootings are occurring with alarmingly increasing frequency. and they realize that because of the laws guns are easily bought unchecked totally from people. they are easily trafficked from state to state, and they realize they can become the victim of gun violence because of these policies, and they are realizing, i don't want this to happen to me, and nothing has been done about it, and now they are speaking out, and that will
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be the missing piece that will ultimately get us to the new comprehensive gun policy. >> colin, i really appreciate your time here in "the war room." up next, michael bloomberg can match the koch brothers dollar for dollar and if it ever came down it to i think he would win a fistfight. bottom line i'm sold on him opening up the monetary flood bank. but is he? we'll be right back. hey, i'm joey aragon. see that film? people call me about this every day. my dishwasher must be broken. you know, it's not always the machine. it may be the detergent. add finish power up to boost your detergent and you'll see a huge difference. watch what it can do. look at that sparkle!
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♪ >> michael: former illinois state representative robin kelly easily won the democratic primary in the special election held for jesse jackson jr's old house seat yesterday. she beat debbie halvorson 52-25. kelley thanked supporters and acknowledged how big an issue gun control was in her victory. >> you sent a message that was
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heard around our state, and across the nation. >> that's right! [ cheers ] >> a message that tells the nra that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end. [ cheers and applause ] >> michael: with me again tonight is james warren of "the new york daily news," who has been covering this story. jim, you can't get enough of the war room can you? >> better now that you see my ugly face than last night just hearing my terrible not even fit for talk radio voice. >> michael: listen halvorson allewded to the $2.2 million that bloomberg's super pac spent on the case. how big of impact was that? >> absolutely.
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first of all it was probably more than that. in a very short special election primary with a fragmented field, there ultimately were 15 candidates yesterday, all of them with very little money, to have this sort of money come in which was far greater than the combined money had huge impact. primarily because of name recognition in the district, and because, perhaps, she was the most prominent, white in a field that was mostly african american. and halvorson was the initial front runner and the bloomberg money proceeded to squash her like a bug. and when she had been a one-term congressman michael, she had represented suburban areas that
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were pretty pro gun anyway. and only about two weeks ago pretty late in the race did they finally, affirmatively endorse somebody, and that in this case was robin kelly, and for sure that played some significant role in getting her way over the top. >> michael: has the nra in your estimation -- i mean -- it's probably too early to state, but doesn't it seem like maybe they have met their match in elections? >> i think when you talk dollar for dollar when you are talking about a multi-billionaire like michael bloomberg, they have met their match. but where ares the battles now going to play out. in retrospect this may have been shooting fish in a barrel. this was a decidedly democratic district generally very very anti-gun district. what is going to happen in other
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places such as the suburban district north of chicago where bloomberg spent a lot of money last fall. it may not be a race anybody recalls, and involves a moderate incumbent by the name of bob dole. bloomberg put a lot of money behind him and lost to actually a pretty weak democrat in that race. so when you look out at bloomberg, and this very -- i think sophisticated political apparatus he has a huge amount of money and the huge passion he has for this issue, where will he pick a spot? where will he decide could be swayed by significant outlay on behalf of candidate? there are some insiders that say because of gerrymandering, there
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won't be all that many tough races out there which he might sway, but he may have a very different view of that at this point. >> michael: yeah, it seems like he wants to be involved. that this could be his fourth term. bloomberg was in washington today meeting with the vice president and various senator, and he spoke with reporters this afternoon, and had this to say. >> what i'm trying to do is to just give information to the public and then let the public make a decision, and i want to -- you know i guess -- if i found out that kelley had won before i went to bed, but genuinely i didn't know if she was going to win or not. confidence in the public -- if you tell them what each other is standing for, i have confidence they will make the decisions. >> michael: does this election say more about the american
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people and this heightened awareness for gun safety legislation or does it speak to bloomberg's power, and the power of the candidate. >> oh, i think both. but again, in a very democratic anti-gun district, it spoke to the power of political money. i'm not sure how you ultimately analyze how much that put her over the top, but in a very expensive television market like los angeles chicago is bloomberg was the only person who could afford tv ads. so kelley was about -- and halvorson, in a pejorative way were the only names that folks at least saw on their television screen in what ultimately was, michael a very tiny -- actually abysmal turnout. which had some to do with general political apathy and so
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to go out and vote was a very sort of affirmative, aggressive act, i think taken mostly by real activist types. >> michael: right. right. and these are people who essentially have been unrepresented now for a long time. >> yeah >> michael: the other piece of news for you jim warren is you won that bet yesterday. thanks for coming in and sharing this with us on "the war room." up next we start with the bad news. we're going to talk about the sequester. the good news we're doing it with joe williams. so you are sure to be kept inter --
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♪ >> michael: coming up at the top of the hour, "the young turks," and look who decided to show up for work! >> hey look at that.
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yes, i'm feeling a tiny bit better, so we're going to do a show. >> michael: okay. >> we have rashad robinson on the show, and he is going to talk about what action we can take to fight back, so that's good. and we have a priest that was actually thrown out of the priesthood by pope benedict. so he thinks that pope benedict is run -- running away from sex scandals. and markos is going to be on the show as well. and that should be fun. >> michael: thanks, cenk. glad you are feeling better, and we'll all be watching. >> thank you, michael. >> michael: here are some headlines that people all over the united states might be seeing. public university cuts work study funding. students expected to drop out. no end in sight for airport delays.
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in two days from now the looming sequester will go into effect. the government can't get their act together and agree on a deal, that's what will happen. joining me now from washington to discuss whether the white house is crying wolf or not is political journalist joe williams. welcome back inside "the war room," joe. >> good to be here. >> michael: is president obama posturing now? or is this real serious sfruf the white house? >> it depennings on who you talk to. but republicans are saying this is posturing but some of these budget cuts across the board, indiscriminate are going to effect things of people's daily lives. it won't have an effect overnight, and the biggest impacts will be felt by people at the lower end of the economic scale. you are talking about fewer
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people qualifying for head start, and real social programs that are going to have to cut back. but for most middle class family, it is going to result in inconveniences that will grow greater over time. >> michael: joe listening to that and knowing all that you just said, i want to know who the president is talking to. he has basically been campaigning against the sequester, as if it were another candidate. he is talking to the four people who will join him at the white house? or talking to the american people? >> he is talking to the congress. you notice when he went to norfolk, he brought along a republican congressman with him, to turn up the heat and let congress know the president is going to take his case directly to the people, and the people that will send them back to office, or flood their office
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with phone calls are the very ones the president is talking to. now i might add also that some statistics have come out today that indicate that the president has a $600 billion head start on the budget reduction already since he has been in office. so cuts in -- in and of themselves, to say this is part of both houses that the president is responsible, and that the republicans in congress are responsible, is not true, and that is starting to get smashed. >> michael: joe, that's such an important fact to know that the cuts have already started. they have already happened at the white house, and -- you know, it makes me think that john boehner's hand is getting weaker and weaker. let's talk about it frankly. is this the last gasp of
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desperate man in john boehner. >> we there thrown dirt on boehner before when he couldn't get his party to go along. people said he was dead then. the problem you have is that nobody else in congress wants that job. you don't want to be the guy who has got to deal with reality on one hand and the tea party on the other. trying to knit together that caucus and still remain true as a republican representing the party, that's a difficult task. and i think that's why we haven't seen him replaced. >> michael: the rising star has me more compelled than cantor does. it was talking about this scenario earlier today in "the war room." are republicans saying we can blame our speaker and the white
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house, so we can say we're a new party without the speaker and the white house? is there something like that possibly going on? >> well if it's a silent coup it would have been very very difficult to see, mainly because boehner has always had problems with the far right of his caucus. he has done a semi heroic job trying to stitch things together to get anything done. at this point, they are so reluctant to do anything that looks like they will be aiding the president or not raising taxes, they are not going to do. so i think he will survive to fight another day and see who might be willing to challenge him and point out the flaws in the fact they can't do which he says he has been able to do which is keep the caucus
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together. >> michael: yeah, i was just looking for political theater. quickly what do you think happens? >> the sequester takes place. obama has a meeting with congress that afternoon, but not until after the sequester happens. the buzz word these days is tax expenditures. that means capping exemptions. that gives republicans the opportunity to say they cut taxes, democrats the opportunity to say they have raised revenues. >> michael: joe williams thanks so much. brett ehrlich may treat chris christie like a republican pinata. blooep
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♪ >> michael: ever since news broke that chris christie was not invited to cpac brett has been begging to weigh in on the story. more illuminating is the fact that he has always been begging us t